So now that I’ve officially announced the closing of Falicon Programming Inc.
I’m finally free and ready to announce the official formation of my new company, Dig Down Labs LLC.
This new company is what I’ll be building, releasing, and running all my projects from over the next few years (at least), and it will also be the vehicle that I do any/all freelance under.
It’s set up to be a basic passthrough LLC, and I’m currently the sole member of the company. So the taxes and paperwork issues that I mentioned for the previous company should not be as big an issue for this new one.
Additionally, the goals and focus of this company are much more in-line with my current thinking, interest, and approach to the work that I am doing and love.
Actually the core mission statement itself is pretty simple, and I think says it all:
“Building fun & useful stuff for a profit.”
In some ways, it’s all about getting back to my roots and just trying to build great and useful products. Products that start as very simple ideas. Products that are given time to evolve and grow naturally. Products that are supported by profits earned through traditional bootstrapping methods and efforts.
Simply, products that *have* to be good enough day-in and day-out to survive.
With that in mind the primary focus of the company will be building each of it’s products into a high-quality, subscription-based, service.
Occasionally I may explore other revenue models for a given product if and when it makes sense, but ‘subscription’ is what I currently believe makes the most sense and is the most interesting to me in the things I am building right now.
In fact, I’m starting off the company with a handful (12!) of products already somewhat live and you can get a list of them as well as a few details about each from the new company site -> http://digdownlabs.com
I believe to be really successful, you have to have determination and persistence. You have to practice, work, and continuously expand your knowledge base. You need to have a strong sense of direction and goals. A sense of purpose.
An idea not of just what you want, but what you don’t want and what you are are willing to give up, to sacrifice along the way towards your goals.
With that in mind, here is a basic quick list of personal goals for the new company:
1. Build small and focused products/brands that have personality, are useful, and do very few things but do them exceptionally well.
2. Always build towards the intent of long term and perpetual profit.
3. Solve my own problems and scratch my own itches first.
4. Strategically outsource and partner with experts to cover weaker areas and grow each product. Avoid adding in-house, salaried, staff for as long as possible.
5. Keep the resources for each product as lean and limited for as long as possible. Ideally start, test, and evolve each idea for less than 5k it’s first year.
6. Initially target 100k annual revenue goal for each product. Test, evolve, and tweak each product until the roadmap for getting to that initial goal is clear and well defined. Then move all project resources into executing on that plan.
And here are a few things I’m knowingly giving up and/or very willing to sacrifice as I begin this journey:
1. Outside, non-customer, funding. To be successful we will be operating at a small scale and much more like an agency or a client-services business. It is not the type of business that generally lands outside help or funding and so we will not waste any energy or thought on that route. The customers will tell us which products should survive and which need to evolve.
2. Speed to scale, growth, and overall rapid traction. We are not going to build the next Twitter, Tumblr, or Instragram. Our products are generally going to focus on revenue and profits to start above all else - and that means each will have a larger uphill battle to gaining traction. It will take serious time and effort just to get each to the 100k annual goal. Our product’s stories will likely not be sexy or overnight hits.
3. Free time. There will be no funding, and it will take time to get to any level of serious revenue, so this company will likely not be able to be my full time job for at least a couple of years, if ever. This will add to the uphill battle towards overall success.
So anyway…that’s the plan and new direction at the moment. I’m glossing over a lot here as usual, so if you’ve got any feedback, thoughts, or ideas, I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).